Interserve boss Adrian Ringrose will step down in 2017 after 15 years with the business.
Mr Ringrose became CEO at the age of just 35 in 2003 and led the group through the recession as Interserve avoided the profit warnings and problem contracts recorded by some of its peers.
However, Interserve has been dogged by losses from energy-from-waste contracts, including a £155m Glasgow EfW scheme that has seen workers go on strike and EfW tech provider Energos go into administration blaming contractual disputes.
Diversification into London large-scale commercial work also hit the buffers this year when Interserve’s JV with China State Construction Engineering Corporation failed to agree terms on the £900m One Nine Elms project.
Mr Ringrose was inducted onto the Construction News Roll of Honour in 2014 in recognition of Interserve’s growth under his 11-year tenure as CEO at that point, the same year it was named Contractor of the Year.
Mr Ringrose in 2016 ‘to watch’ list
CN named Mr Ringrose on the 16 to watch in 2016 list last year.
CN wrote: ”Until 2015, Adrian Ringrose led Interserve deftly through the recession and out the other side – avoiding profit warnings, growing revenue and winning repeat business with blue-chip clients. Its share price has risen 168 per cent in five years.
“But 2016 marks a challenge: Mr Ringrose’s diversification strategy will see Interserve not only take on its first high-end commercial project at One Nine Elms, but do so on a technically difficult job and in joint venture with a Chinese contractor. That’s a lot of firsts.
“As a major FM player, Interserve has also warned the new national living wage will drag down profits by £15m.”
Group chairman Glyn Barker said: “I would like to thank Adrian for his significant contribution to Interserve over the last 15 years. His dedication to the organisation has been and remains absolute and I wish him success and equal fulfilment in the next stage of his career.
“During his tenure as CEO, he has transformed the composition, scale and culture of the business. He will be leaving a legacy of strong, profitable businesses with an excellent market reputation.
“This, together with the outstanding team of people which he has developed throughout the organisation, is a great platform for our new CEO to take Interserve forward.”
Mr Ringrose said: “It has been a huge privilege to serve on the board of Interserve for the last 15 years, in particular to have led the business as chief executive for the vast majority of that time, during which the company has expanded and developed significantly.
“I am proud of what we are achieving and continue to be humbled by the skill and care of my colleagues in providing vital services to our customers and remain committed to leading the company through this transition period.”
The group issued a trading update today in which it said trading and cash were in line with expectations.
It said: “Progress on contracts within our exited energy-from-waste business is in line with previous guidance, although significant risks still remain.
“The cash profile of work on these contracts has changed during the last few months, as we have sought to minimise overall risks by accelerating certain supply chain payments.
“This is expected to be offset by working capital management throughout the rest of the group to maintain year-end net debt at the previously guided levels of £300m-£320m.”
Interserve’s share price was 374.5p at 2.50pm, trading up 4.24 per cent.